The non-profit Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement is out with an analysis of 2012 turnout among 18-29 year old voters by ethnicity and gender.
The report can be found here.
According to the analysis, young African-American women easily were the stars of 2012 - not only with a higher turnout rate than any other subgroup but also with less of a fall off from 2008 than any other group other than young Hispanic women. Young Hispanic women also held fairly steady on turnout, though they continued to vote at a significantly lower rate than their Anglo and African-American peers.
By contrast, both young African-American men and Anglo men saw turnout decreases of 6 points.
[Note: As discussed elsewhere, the turnout rates are probably more useful as indicators of trends over time rather than for comparisons in a given year between groups since the figures are based on citizen voting age population and do not take into account criminal records or other factors affecting eligibility. Looking only at eligible voters, the turnout rates, especially for African-American men, are almost certainly higher.]
Houston-based conservative group, True the Vote, filed suit against the Internal Revenue Service this morning in federal court in Washington D.C.
The group’s court papers seek a declaration that the group qualifies for tax-exempt non-profit status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, saying that the IRS had improperly delayed a determination decision for nearly three years.
The group also contends that the additional review accorded its application by the IRS violated the First Amendment and asked the court to declare the IRS’ policy unconstitutional.
Last but not least, the complaint also seeks damages for what the group said were unauthorized inspection of its private information by IRS employees as well as damages caused by the delay in receiving a determination of exempt status.
A copy of the complaint can be found here.
Last year, a sister organization, King Street Patriots - also started by True the Vote founder, Catherine Engelbrecht - was found to be a PAC rather than a non-profit for purposes of Texas campaign finance law.
The website of the new Presidential Commission on Election Administration is now live.
Ann McGeehan, long time head of the Texas secretary of state’s election division, is among the commission’s members.
The San Antonio court entered an order this afternoon setting a hearing for May 29 at 9 a.m. to decide what to do with the Texas maps - or, more exactly, to decide how to decide what to do.
The order acknowledged that the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby Co. would “affect the final outcome of these proceedings,” but said “the Court would like to take reasonable steps to prepare for the difficult task ahead.”
Based on the parties’ prior representations, the court asked the parties to be prepared to agree at the hearing to a stipulation making the interim state senate map the final court-ordered senate plan - or, alternatively, to argue at the hearing why it should not be.
On the state house and congressional maps, the court asked the parties to be prepared to argue whether evidence from the D.C. preclearance case should be admitted into evidence in the San Antonio case and whether the plaintiffs should be allowed to supplement the record with new demographic data and data derived from the 2012 elections.
A copy of the order can be found here.
As reported last week, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott told Republican legislators last week to be prepared for a late May special session on redistricting - but , as of yet, no indication if that also reflects Gov. Perry’s view.
The Census Bureau’s estimate of the 2012 voter turnout took a look not only at who didn’t vote, but also asked people in the survey why they hadn’t.
Here’s what they had to say:
The biggest group of non-voters (34.6%) were those who said they were either too busy or not interested. Another 5.5% said they had experienced registration problems, and 3.3% cited transportation issues.
But the Census Bureau also provided demographic breakdowns for the categories, where some distinctions emerge.
For example, of non-voters over 65 and olders, 42% cited illness as their reason for not voting.
Non-voting Anglos also were considerably more likely to say they didn’t like the candidates (14.5%) than non-voting African-Americans (3.2%) or Hispanics (9.4%).
And 11.2% of non-voting men said they had been out-of-town vs. 6.1% of non-voting women.
The full survey results here. Enjoy!
The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Election Law is out with a report on polling place delays during the 2012 election.
Here’s an update on where things stand, as of noon Saturday, on the election law bills in the Texas Legislature.
[Note: Chart updated to add status information of several bills as of late Saturday]
It’s a beautiful thing when something complex can be made a bit simpler through data visualization.
A higher res version and some additional notes here.
The first known county-level electoral map from the 1880 presidential contest:
An even more fun, zoomable version available here.
[Note: The modern red/blue distinction is inverted on this map, i.e., red = Democrats, blue = Republicans]
So how did turnout rates in Texas in 2012 vary by gender?
In general, Texas mirrored national trends, with Texas women outvoting Texas men by a little over three points.
However, since there are more women than men in Texas as elsewhere - and since women are registered at a slightly higher rate than men (69.2% vs. 64.5%) - Texas women’s higher turnout rate meant that women ended up making up 55.25% of the universe of actual Texas voters vs. 44.75% for men.
Perhaps predictably, there were some variances by age.
While women outvoted men in all but one age group, women in the younger age groups proved especially more responsible than their male counterparts (even though their turnout rates trailed older women by a significant margin).
That at least appears to be Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is hinting at - though the ultimate call will be Governor Perry’s.
Christy Hoppe at the Dallas Morning News has more.
PAC+ and the One Texas PAC yesterday released the toplines of extensive polling they are conducting on Texas Hispanic voters in Dallas, Harris, Bexar, Tarrant, and El Paso counties.
The poll had a margin of error of +/- 1.9% and was conducted using both cellphones and landlines.
Here are some of the tidbits:
- 69% of Texas Hispanic voters went to primary or secondary school in Texas.
- 81% have lived at their current address for at least 5 years.
- 21% believe Senator Ted Cruz is a Democrat. Another 18% were unsure.
- 11% of respondents said they were not registered to vote (when in fact they were). Another 3% said they were not sure if they were registered. Of the 11% who said they weren’t registered, 51% of them said they had been registered at one point - suggesting either they didn’t understand the way voter registration works or maybe that they moved and needed to update their registration.
When it comes to a preference for Hispanic candidates, a plurality said they were at least somewhat more likely to vote for a Hispanic candidate, with a quarter saying they were much more likely:
But voters in the survey also were not particularly politically aware, with only 47% correctly identifying the next gubernatorial election as being in 2014:
And, as for the billion dollar question, why don’t people vote?
The full toplines here.
The Census Bureau’s estimate last week that African-Americans outvoted Anglos in 2012 for the first time - ever - has gotten a lot of buzz.
But it also has drawn some skeptical questions.
An earlier piece on this blog suggested that the Texas data pointed to at least some measure of exaggeration by Texas African-Americans about having voted - perhaps predictable given the presence of Barack Obama on the ballot.
And this morning, Pew is out with a piece that looks at all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and finds the presence of a noticeable “social desirability bias” skewing African-American turnout rates across the nation - in some cases by double digits.
That’s a numerator problem - in other words, the inflation of turnout rates by overstating the number of people who voted.
Interestingly, Pew found the overreporting of voting was more pronounced in 2008 and 2012 than in 2004 and speculated:
Might this be because non-voting blacks were more eager than non-voting whites to tell survey takers that they voted for the first ever African-American president? While there’s no way of knowing for sure, the data are suggestive. When we plotted the state discrepancies in 2008 and 2004, we found a similar pattern, but we also found the racial skew was stronger in 2008 and 2012, the two elections in which Obama was on the ballot, than in 2004.
But that’s not quite the end of the story.
Others have pointed out that there also may be a denominator problem - again, especially with African-American voters.
That problem arises because the Census Bureau assumes all citizens of voting age are eligible to vote. But with African-American men, in particular, that isn’t true because of felony records. That problem works the other direction - artificially understating turnout rates by including people who can’t vote. For African-American men, the impact is more than 8 points.
On the other hand, simply looking at the voter roll isn’t dispositive because many states, like Texas, don’t track the ethnicity of voters, making it necessary to model the voter file.
All of which is simply to say what seems to be a straightforward enough question is full of nuances and caveats.